Vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal health and vitality.
This is why a balanced diet and an active lifestyle are important in keeping us healthy. In diabetes, the immune system often needs a helping hand and it is therefore prudent to consider whether or not you are getting enough vitamins.
Eating a healthy balanced diet should supply you with all the vitamins and minerals you need.
The ability to absorb nutrients diminishes, through the aging process, through illness or because of an exceptionally active lifestyle and this is why many people choose to take supplements. The easy option is to take a multi-vitamin supplement, but in doing so, you may not get the right measures of the right vitamins for your individual needs. Fortunately, with today's increasingly comprehensive food labelling, you can quite easily analyse your own diet to see whether or not you are significantly deficient in any particular vitamin or mineral. You can do this by comparing the vitamins you are getting from your regular food intakes with the recommended daily allowances of each vitamin and mineral and then consider taking supplements for any that you feel you are deficient in.
A good book to help you with this is called "Food Tables And Labeling" and it is reviewed in the recommended books section of this site. After assessing your diet with the aid of this book, it is then a question of experimenting to find what supplements suit you.
There a number of supplements that are known to be particularly beneficial to diabetics and these are listed below. Clearly you do not necessarily need to take a supplement of everything listed here. You may already be getting enough through your own regular diet. This list is purely for guidance.
If you need further help or advice, you should consult a dietician, your GP or a qualified nutrition expert.
Recommended daily allowance: 1 MGC
It is thought that a disturbance in the B12 metabolism in diabetics may
increase nerve damage and that supplements may be beneficial. Some associated conditions that could indicate a need for extra vitamin B12 are - Fatigue, Poor hair condition, Skin problems and Anaemia.
Recommended daily allowance: 150 MCG
It is thought that biotin may work with insulin to reduce blood sugar levels and that supplements may be beneficial in helping against nerve damage. Associated problems indicating a potential deficiency are - Scaly dry skin, tiredness, skin problems and intestinal problems.
Recommended daily allowance: 300 MG
Magnesium may help reduce complications in diabetes, such as heart disease, kidney problems and nerve damage. It is essential in the transportation of glucose and important in the release of insulin and therefore helps control blood sugar levels. Some associated problems indicating a potential deficiency are muscle cramps, loss of appetite, fatigue, irregular heartbeats and insomnia.
Recommended daily allowance: None established
Thought to improve blood sugar levels and improve immune systems, increase bone strength and improve wound healing. Considered beneficial against skin rashes, joint pain, poor memory and muscle twitches.
Recommended daily allowance: 800 MG
Essential for strong bones and teeth, supplements could help reduce tiredness in diabetes and improve control in insulin dependent diabetes. Can reduce the rate of development of kidney stones. Low bone density, weakness and tiredness are possible signs of a lack of phosphorus.
Fruit is a great natural source of vitamin boost. Rich in antioxidants that help to neutralize toxins, it can also help stabilize blood sugar levels. It has anti-allergy qualities and provides a good source of fibre.
Choose it as an ideal between-meal snack.